How to clean cast iron – 3 Best Ways To Clean Cast Iron

How To Clean Cast Iron

Last Updated on July 18, 2023 by Emily Anna

As you may already know, cast iron cookware requires some additional care and maintenance to ensure its longevity and best cooking performance. Therefore, knowing the best practices for cleaning and maintaining cast iron is essential.

Therefore, in this article, we will explore three proven methods to clean cast iron:

  1. Using canning or sea salt
  2. Cleaning with household salt
  3. Cleaning cast iron pan with hot water

By following these techniques, you’ll be able to effectively clean and keep your cast iron in excellent condition for years to come. So, reading this article, you will learn how to clean cast iron step by step.

How to clean cast Iron

How to Clean Cast Iron Rust with Canning or Sea Salt

Take a small amount of canning salt or sea salt and put it in a rusted cast iron skillet. Then, take a sponge and rub it well on the rusted area. Swirl the salt through the sponge to the right, left, and all sides like the grain in a mill.
You will see the color of the salt change in a short time. The rust turns the salt red. Take the salt in a bowl when the skillet is completely clean. If the skillet is too rusty, add more salt and repeat the same steps.

Unfortunately, the salt will be wasted, but there will be a skillet in front of you on which the name of the rust will not exist. Now, wet it a little and wash it with soap or a dishwasher. You’ll have a clean, rust-free cast iron skillet like a brand new one with a shiny surface.

clean cast Iron with Household Salt

After use, the iron skillet may appear burnt, dirty, and greasy, even after washing. However, using salt can help get rid of these stains from frying pan or types of cast iron cookwares. Add a small amount of salt to the pan and wet it slightly with water. Remember not to add too much water as it may dissolve the salt.

Next, use a sponge to scrub the salt all over the sides and surface of the skillet, ensuring that all areas with grease or food particles are thoroughly cleaned. Rinse the skillet with water.

You can also use normal soap or put it in the dishwasher for extra cleaning, although this is not mandatory. A clean, grease-free skillet will leave you amazed.

Clean the Cast Iron hot water

The most important step in caring for cast iron is cleaning and maintaining it after use. Let’s discuss how to properly clean cast iron after use.
Begin by adding a few inches of water to a skillet and heating it on low heat for three minutes. You will notice that burnt and stuck-on food particles and grease will start to come off with the hot water.

Remove the skillet from the stove, and once the water has cooled enough to handle, scrub well with a scrubber. Rinse the skillet with normal water and place it in the dishwasher. You will be surprised to see that the frying pan skillet looks like it has never been used.

FAQs on How to clean cast iron

What is the best way to clean cast

Take kosher salt and lightly wet it, then use a scrubber to rub it around the pig, focusing on areas with food particles. Once done, rinse thoroughly with water.

Now, wash the skillet with a normal dishwasher or soap and water. By following these steps, your skillet will be perfectly shiny and clean.

How do you clean a cast iron skillet after use?

Please heat a few inches of water in a cast iron pan over a low flame. This will help to loosen any grease, burnt or stuck food, and leftover particles on the surface.

Once heated, use a scraper to remove any debris, then scrub the pan well with regular soap and rinse it thoroughly with water.

What should you, not clean cast iron with?

Never use metal scrubbers on cast iron pans, as they can scratch the surface and cause damage. Further, avoid using cheap plastic and wooden spoons as they may melt and mix with your food at high temperatures.

Instead, use the $11 Oxo Brush to clean your cast iron pan. This brush has a firm texture, perfect for easy cleaning between grill pan grates.

How do you remove brown stains from cast iron?

Mix baking soda with water in a bowl to create a thick paste. Apply this paste onto any areas with brown spots. Leave it on for two minutes, then scrub well using a scrubber and rinse with water. This will remove all grease, burnt and stuck food particles, and residue, leaving the surface completely clean.

Does vinegar help clean cast iron?

A mixture of vinegar and water is always considered an ideal and time-saving method for cleaning cast iron. To use this method, fill a bowl with a few inches of water. Next, add two spoons of vinegar to the water and pour the mixture into a spray bottle.

Then, spray the cast iron pan with the mixture and scrub it well using a scrubber. When you’re finished, you should have a cast iron pan with a shiny surface that looks brand new.

Is it OK to wash cast iron with water?

Cast iron can be cleaned using warm water, as it helps to remove any residual grease, particles, or burnt food. However, for a more thorough cleaning, hot water is recommended.

To clean the skillet effectively, scrub it with a soft cloth or sponge. It’s important to avoid using metal or hard scrubbers, as they can cause damage to the surface.

What is the best oil to season cast iron?

The best oils for seasoning are vegetable oil, canola oil, and melted shortening oil. Melted shortening oil is ideal for seasoning due to its high smoke point, effectiveness, affordability, and availability. However, you can also season pan with any oil of your choice.

Does soap ruin cast iron?

Using soap will not damage your cast iron or its seasoning coating. You can safely use soap to clean your cast iron without any problems.

How do you clean cast iron immediately after cooking?

Add a few inches of water to the skillet and heat it. This will help loosen any grease and stuck food particles. Next, use a soft sponge to scrub the skillet well and rinse with water.


So, we’ve learned how to clean cast iron. One way to do it is by rubbing kosher salt on the rusted area. If you want to clean the skillet immediately after cooking, add water to the pan, place it on the gas stove, and heat it.

This will loosen and dislodge all grease and food particles. In a very short time, you can clean the skillet as thoroughly as if it were brand new.

Remember that the more you care for and maintain your cast iron, the more useful and longer it will last. Now that you know how to clean cast iron with salt and hot water, you can easily clean it without any hassle or worry. This way, you can save time and enjoy using your cast iron.

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